Mets: Mickey Callaway avoiding rookie manager mistakes

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Managers Gabe Kapler
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Managers Gabe Kapler /

First-year New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway has done a fine job in the early days of the season. That’s because he’s avoiding the rookie mistakes other rookie managers have already made.

When the New York Mets hired Mickey Callaway as the new manager for 2018, there wasn’t a ton of excitement. Who the heck is this guy?

In case you didn’t know, Callaway is the mastermind behind the Cleveland Indians rotation. Though credit goes to the pitchers more than anyone else, he was there when Corey Kluber won Cy Young Awards in 2014 and 2017. As MLB fans know, the Indians’ pitching staff is even deeper than Kluber with one of the game’s best rotations and bullpens.

Callaway learned a lot during his time with the Indians. As we’ve seen, he was very well-prepared to manage the Mets.

Thus far, Callaway has done a really good job at easing into his advanced role. Maybe most important of all, he’s avoiding the rookie mistakes other managers are making.

Rookie Manager Mistakes Around the League

Two noted rookie managers suffering from a lack of experience are Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees and Gabe Kapler of the Philadelphia Phillies. We didn’t know what to expect from either when they were hired. Lucky for the Mets, they can experience some schadenfreude, blissfully watching from afar as they make silly errors.

Despite having one of the best rosters in baseball, Boone has drawn earlier criticism for his handling of the bullpen. In their first series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees fell due to a decision by Boone.

Rather than let relief pitcher David Robertson face a struggling Josh Donaldson, Boone let him have it his way and pitch to Josh Smoak. You know, the Justin Smoak who ripped 38 home runs a year ago.

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Smoak clobbered Robertson, helping to turn fans against Boone.

A little further down in Philadelphia, fans are already uneasy with Kapler at the helm. His often confusing approach to the game has many wishing anyone else.

First, Kapler pulled the plug on the team’s number one starter Aaron Nola on Opening Day with a low pitch count and a lead. This would later come back to bite him on his abs. The bullpen blew the game, starting Kapler’s career on a low note.

Two days later, Kapler flubbed again when he tried to put relief pitcher Hoby Milner into the game for starter Vincent Velasquez. The problem was that Milner hadn’t thrown a single warm-up pitch. As you could expect, Phillies fans booed him the first chance they got.

Mickey Callaway’s Success

Callaway has yet to make such an egregious error in his first few games calling the shots in Queens. Rather, he’s done the complete opposite.

Callaway’s lineups aren’t the always prototype. His handling of the pitching staff isn’t by the book either. However, the results speak louder than anything else. The Mets are winning a ton and Callaway should get a bulk of the praise.

At some point, Callaway will falter. It’s only natural. Over 162 games, everyone makes errors or bad judgment calls. Just ask every umpire in the league.

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But with the team behind him and everything working out in his favor, we may see a lot less of buffoonery from this freshman manager than others in baseball. At least he knows how to get a pitcher’s arm warm.